Good question as I’ve seen these two titles used interchangeably!
A patent agent is someone who has passed the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Patent Bar, and is registered with the USPTO to prepare, file, and prosecute patent applications on behalf of his/her clients. However, a patent agent may not participate in patent litigation.
A patent attorney has the same capabilities that a patent agent does plus the ability to practice law. As Jordan stated, a patent attorney is often more expensive than a patent agent because of the attorney’s ability to represent and guide you in more ways than just a patent application.
The USPTO maintains aof registered patent attorneys and agents. Interestingly, the site states that “currently, there are 11059 active agents and 33209 active attorneys.”
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